Opiate Detox

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Opiate Detox in San Diego

At Healthy Life Recovery, our addiction treatment center in San Diego, California, we understand the complex challenges faced by individuals struggling with opiate addiction, including the daunting journey through detoxification. Our dedicated approach to opiate detox in San Diego includes a medically supervised experience that prioritizes your comfort and well-being. Our team is dedicated to offering a path to recovery that is both compassionate and effective.

Understanding Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction, a growing concern in today’s society, is an issue that transcends social, economic, and cultural boundaries, affecting individuals from all walks of life. Often beginning with prescribed medications for pain management, opioid dependency can quickly escalate into a chronic condition, with some individuals turning to illicit drugs as alternatives. The addictive properties of opiates are rooted in their ability to alter brain chemistry, leading to a powerful physical and psychological dependency.

The Opioid Crisis in San Diego

Like many cities across the nation, San Diego is grappling with the escalating opioid crisis, a situation that mirrors a national public health emergency. This crisis significantly impacts the city, as evidenced by recent statistics: Between the third quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2023, San Diego witnessed a 34% rise in emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses. In 2022, these incidents were particularly stark, with opioid-related overdoses accounting for 70% to 77% of all overdose deaths in the area. San Diego is no exception to the widespread challenge posed by opiate addiction, reflecting a critical need for effective intervention and treatment strategies.

Recognizing Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Opiate withdrawal is a challenging phase that arises when an individual reduces or stops the intake of opiates after prolonged use. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on various factors such as the duration of use, the type of opiate consumed, and the individual’s physical and mental health. Common symptoms may include:

Muscle aches


Nausea and vomiting

Anxiety and irritability

Increased heart rate

Sweating and chills

Opiate cravings

Fatigue and difficulty concentrating

Withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the last dose of an opiate. The intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary. Typically, the physical symptoms peak within the first few days and gradually diminish over a week or two. Psychological symptoms like cravings and depression may last longer and require ongoing support and treatment.

If you or a loved one is looking for comprehensive opiate addiction treatment in San Diego, contact Healthy Life Recovery today to learn more about how our treatment programs can support you during and following opiate detox.

opiate withdrawal and detox in san diego

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opiate Detox & Withdrawal

Medications used in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), like Suboxone®, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, play a crucial role in normalizing brain chemistry altered by prolonged opiate use. By reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, these medications create a stable physiological platform from which individuals can engage more fully in their recovery journey. 

Common medications used in MAT for opiate use disorder (OUD) include:


A long-acting opioid agonist, methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings by acting on the same opioid receptors as heroin and prescription opioids.


As a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine relieves drug cravings without producing the “high” or dangerous side effects of other opioids.


This medication blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids and is typically used after the body is fully detoxed from opioids.

These medications work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as the abused opiate but without producing the same euphoric effects, thereby reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Duration of MAT for Opiate Detox

The duration of MAT can vary greatly depending on the individual’s unique circumstances, the severity of addiction, and the type of medication used. For some, MAT may be a short-term intervention to aid in detoxification, while for others, it may be a long-term treatment plan to maintain recovery and prevent relapse.

Fentanyl Detox with Suboxone® (Buprenorphine)

Using Suboxone® for fentanyl detox raises important considerations due to fentanyl’s unique characteristics as a highly potent synthetic opioid. The key concerns and the viability of using Suboxone® in this context include:

High Potency of Fentanyl: Fentanyl’s extreme potency compared to other opioids brings into question whether Suboxone®, typically used for less potent opioids, is effective for fentanyl detox.

Risk of Precipitated Withdrawal: One of the primary concerns with using Suboxone® for fentanyl detox is the risk of precipitated withdrawal. This condition occurs when a person with a high level of opioids in their system takes Suboxone® too early, causing the naloxone to displace the opioids from the brain receptors rapidly. This can lead to an abrupt and intense onset of withdrawal symptoms.


Can Suboxone® Be Used for Fentanyl Detox?

Suboxone®, despite concerns, can effectively manage fentanyl withdrawal symptoms due to its partial opioid agonist component, buprenorphine, which helps reduce cravings and mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

At Healthy Life Recovery, our medical professionals are highly skilled in managing the timing and administration of Suboxone® to minimize the risk of precipitated withdrawal. We carefully assess each individual’s level of fentanyl dependency and tailor the initiation of Suboxone® treatment accordingly. This personalized approach ensures that Suboxone® is introduced into the body at an optimal time, helping to avoid the discomfort of precipitated withdrawal.

Help is Available

Why Choose Healthy Life Recovery?

Choosing the right recovery center is pivotal in your journey toward a healthier, substance-free life. At Healthy Life Recovery, we offer a unique and effective approach to addiction treatment. Here are some reasons our center stands out as an exceptional choice for your recovery:

Comfort-Oriented Detox Process: Understanding the challenges of withdrawal, we focus on making this difficult phase as comfortable as possible. Our approach combines a soothing environment with effective symptom management techniques to ensure a smoother and more bearable detox experience. Learn More About Our Drug & Alcohol Detox Program.

Expert Team of Supportive Staff: Our dedicated team offers more than just professional care; they provide empathy, understanding, and unwavering support. With a deep commitment to your well-being, they can guide you through every step of your recovery journey, offering personalized attention and care. Learn More About Our Team. 

Holistic Active Recovery Options: Embracing the power of physical activity, we offer unique and dynamic activities like motocross and surfing. These programs are designed to invigorate the body and boost mental health, build resilience, and enhance your overall recovery experience. Learn More About Our Active Recovery Programs.

Comprehensive Treatment Approach: Our treatment goes beyond managing physical symptoms; it encompasses individual therapy, group counseling, and holistic methods to address every aspect of addiction. This comprehensive approach ensures a well-rounded recovery, targeting the mind and the body. Learn More About Our Approach to Addiction Recovery

Focus on Long-Term Recovery: We aim to empower you with the necessary tools and knowledge for a sustained, drug-free life. We provide ongoing support and resources, ensuring your recovery journey is enduring and successful. Learn More About Our Addiction Treatment Programs.


Begin Healing from Opiate Addiction with Healthy Life Recovery in San Diego

At Healthy Life Recovery, we believe that every individual has the potential to turn their life around. Our San Diego-based Drug and Alcohol Detox Center is a testament to our commitment to providing quality care and support during one of the most critical phases in the recovery process.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, let us help pave the path to a brighter, addiction-free future. Reach out today to learn more or to schedule a confidential consultation.

Detox is more than just eliminating substances; it’s about reorienting one’s life. Our dedicated staff at Healthy Life Recovery ensures every individual feels comfortable, supported, and safe. From the first few critical hours to long-term recovery plans, our holistic approach ensures every resident gets the comprehensive care they deserve.


Healthy Life Recovery Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with opiate addiction, know that you are not alone. Healthy Life Recovery is here to help you on your journey to a healthier, happier life. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized opiate rehab and detox program in San Diego and take the first step toward recovery.

Call 844-252-8347 to begin your transformative journey of healing from opiate addiction today.

Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York. Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced healthcare treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems.

More About Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Edited for Clinical Accuracy By:

Sean Leonard, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Sean Leonard is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. He received his master’s degree in adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner from Walden University and a second postmaster specialty in psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner from Rocky Mountain University. Sean has experience working in various diverse settings, including an outpatient clinic, inpatient detox and rehab, psychiatric emergency, and dual diagnosis programs. His specialty areas include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD.

More About Sean Leonard

Opiate Detox
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